Ancient diving? Neanderthals were extracted shell from the bottom of the sea

In 1949, archaeologists who conducted excavations in the cave Moscerini (Grotta dei Moscerini) on the territory of the administrative region of Lazio in Italy, found many unusual artifacts. It was a shell of bivalves that Neanderthals who lived in a cave just a few meters from the beach, turned into tools.

In the course of the new work an international team of archaeologists further investigated these findings with age 90-100 thousand years.

Experts have come to a surprising conclusion. According to them, Neanderthals not only collected shells on the beach (as previously thought), but and dived for them in the Mediterranean sea.

the Authors say: the fact that Neanderthals were able to make relatively advanced tools and weapons, have long been known. Some of the findings and testified that “cousins sapiens” exploited marine resources (e.g., know how to fish).

However, the artifacts from Latium, recently re-examined, surprised many archaeologists.

According to them, the 171 was found the gun was made from the valves of shells of the same species Callista chione (also known as smooth clams).

Apparently, Neanderthals using stone hammers split their shell so as to form a sharp edge. These “blade” remained thin and sharp for a long time.

When the researchers looked more closely at these artifacts, they noticed that almost three quarters of them were opaque and lightly oiled. This is a characteristic sign that the shell is once washed to the beach where they were exposed to sand and sun, explain the authors.

However, the rest of the shells were shiny and smooth surface, as well as traces of “crust” formed by marine organisms. These signs indicate that the shellfish are lifted from the bottom of the sea alive.

it is Noteworthy that the size of these instances was a little more than others.

“it’s possible that Neanderthals collected them at depthsfrom two to four meters, – says the head of the research group Paola Villa (Villa Paola) from the University of Colorado at boulder. – Of course, they had no diving equipment”.

the Researchers found in the same sedimentary rocks where they found guns, fragments of pumice. Its Neanderthals could have used as an abrasive for grinding tools.

Volcanic material, as found by the team were taken to the beach Moscerini sea currents after the eruptions of volcanoes in the Gulf of Naples (65 miles South).

Samples of pumice, which is probably used by Neanderthals.Photo Villa et al., 2020, PLOS ONE.

Interestingly, in the sediments, where archaeologists found tools made of shells, there was surprisingly little traditional stone tools. Perhaps the Neanderthals had to use the seafood because the usual materials in the district is not enough. On the other hand, they could go to the tools made of shells, because they were easier to sharpen and sharpen again, says Paola Villa.

by the Way, the version of the ancient “diving” of Neanderthals supports one of the recent studies of anthropologists. Studying the remains of Neanderthals, they found a few samples of specific bony growths in the ear canal. This feature, known as “swimmer’s ear” (or “surfer’s ear”), occurs in people who do water sports.

Probably, in the production of sinks Neanderthals helped and nimble fingers.

According to the scientists, new data confirm once again that Neanderthals were more advanced and not afraid of the word, creative, it was considered for a long time.

However, it remains unknown whether they knew that the contents of the shells are edible.

read More about the study discussed in the article presented in the journal PLOS ONE.

by the Way, before “News.Science” ( RAwas skazali that Neanderthals knew a lot about medicine, creating jewelry and tried to make their homes more comfortable. In addition, recently removed from them the stigma of violent thugs.

Text: To.Science